The Power of Performance and Experience Goals

Last Sunday I participated in the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k running race on a beautiful winter’s day.

It was a race of two halves for me and I thought I’d share my reflections in case they resonated with others.

I had a performance goal for the race of sub 42 minutes and was excited to see how I’d go in a solo running 10km versus a triathlon.

I was on the start line with my friend Jeff and a 40 minute pacer was ahead of us. I went off with the pacer and a group and managed to stick with them for 5km. At that point I was struggling to keep on the pace and realised I hadn’t looked up and taken in the beautiful coastal surroundings.

I then decided to look up, run my own pace, smile and take in the atmosphere and scenery. I still pushed hard and was able to meet my overall race goal but certainly enjoyed the second half a lot more and also the post race experience of soaking in the atmosphere and stunning surroundings.

Being an advocate for coaching and goal setting with lots of research supporting the process including the Harvard MBA Business School Study., it made me reflect on the power of having both a performance and experience goal.

Taking a corporate athlete approach and applying this to the business arena it made me think of the quarterly financial performance targets that many leaders are chasing and how by having an experience goal alongside these the process could be more enjoyable. As my Aunty Julie says “Enjoy the Journey”.

Two questions I’ve written about before that may be useful here too include, ‘How do I want to be remembered?”, “How do I want to remember this time?”.

There are of course times where the situation may just cause for a performance goal to be met like front line crisis responses and life saving surgery. In these cases other goals such as learning and impact goals may be useful.

Reflective lessons for me from my race of two halves which I thought translated to the leadership arena are:

  • Run your own race
  • “Stop and Look” as my colleague Elbrie says
  • It’s never too late to reframe a situation
  • You can hit high, hard goals and enjoy the experience

Last Friday, Tenfold hosted a ‘Purpose Driven Leadership, Daring Greatly” Special Dialogue with our previous NSW Premier Mike Baird, now CEO at HammondCare in the Age Care sector. Some of his lessons learnt linked to the theme of making sure you are present and taking in the experience.

  • As Premier, having a date night once a week with my wife was as important as meeting a Foreign dignitary
  •  When you are connected to what you love and who you love you are more successful
  • The person in front of me is the most important person right now

Inspiring words!

Tenfold Purpose Driven Leadership Special 31st July 2022

In relation to performance and experience goals, I found watching Jess Stenson win the women’s marathon at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this weekend with a big smile on her face very inspiring too. From a few perspectives:

  • Her humility, gratitude and presence of trying to take in the amazing achievement – “I was trying to juggle being excited and soaking it in with concentrating and not tripping over”
  • Her selflessness in thanking her team – “We did it together today, this medal is not just mine. I want all of the girls to feel like they’re wearing it because we did that together.”
  • Her shout out to all the mums out there and perspective share – “I think I’m a more relaxed runner, as a mother, I can just enjoy the process a bit more,” 

What a great role model.

Sending waves of abundance to all and all the best with your goals.

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